Sociological Imagination: Western’s Undergraduate Sociology Student Journal

Article Title

The Wretched of the Earth and Black Skin, White Masks: A Sociological Analysis Social Control, Social Order and Social Change in the Colonial Context


The work of Frantz Fanon is highly influential on the academic discipline of post-colonial studies, and during the time Fanon was writing, there were numerous decolonizing movements from nations that are now referred to as belonging to the “developing world”. This paper analyzes and critiques Fanon’s most famous works, The Wretched of the Earth (1963), and Black Skin, White Masks (1952), within a sociological framework. The concepts and techniques of social control, social order and social change are addressed in the context of Fanon’s writing, many of which are still relevant due to the neocolonial situation. The neocolonial situation refers to the continued dominance of the developing nations by the developed nations, for imperialistic purposes. My main critique of Fanon’s writing is that he “stretches” his Marxist analysis, placing race, and not class at the center of the conflict between the colonizers and colonized. Fanon, by addressing this conflict along racially-prioritized lines, at points misses the deeper, class-rooted conflicts that appear in the colonial situation.

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